Timeless Data Management Tips
When I think back to the first days of my career – I have images of my night audit work in hotels. The actual night audit work only took about an hour – the entire rest of the shift I spent loading these giant floppy disks – 8 inch disks. Most people nowadays have never even seen floppy disks – much less floppy disks that are 8 inches wide. I would load one disk after another and each disk took about 45 minutes to backup. Literally I would sometimes have to go through 15 disks to back everything up. My 8 hour shifts began to be 12-14 hours.
Technology has come a long way – I was so amazed when we moved from main frame processing to windows based environments. Then when we moved from WYSIWYG Lotus to a modern day Excel. It can be overwhelming to think about just how much has changed and it isn’t like I am 95 years old – it is in a relatively short period of time that these changes occurred. Since I am relatively young I can only imagine what the next 20-40 years will hold.
With all this technology comes the serious need for master data management. Requirements change all time and data not only needs to be protected but managed in a way that it can be restored if necessary. I work in education so some of the steps we take are as follows:
- First we are constantly focused on the information. In education we have to protect the data at all times – just as much as in the medical field. We have changed server types many times through the years – it is really irrelevant what the servers are and whether they are virtual or not. It is the type of data that is important.
- Make sure you know who has legitimate access to the information. What levels of access are there? Document everyone’s access levels.
- Build in redundancies. Make sure you have backups and fail safe measures. For example – have an on site backup and an off site backup.
- Set policies and enforce them. These policies can be in any format as long as all necessary individuals have access to them. For us our policies are stored digitally so we can access them from anywhere and we can share the access with those that need it. This allows for policies to be instantaneously updated as well as accessed by anyone who should have the access. It also allows for immediate revocation of access if necessary.
- Stay on top of enhancements, changes and always be prepared for what’s next. If you wait for the “what’s next” it will be too late.
Gartner Master Data Management has solutions that can keep you moving forward and helps to keep your data safe.